Hi I have these symbols which i Brought back from Jamaica printed on Matchbox's I have found out that it would be using the style of writing earlier than cuneiform/hebrew etc. I have looked it up on the web but cannot find any examples of this more earlier form of writing using simply a line and a curve.. I beleive these words are lost words using just lines and curves.. Please post if you can think of any clues about the first civilisation that may have used this writing and when? where? many thanks i thought any harrison fords' might like this section - indiana!?? OK after much research here is the complete piece with all the modern history added (mostly from wikipedia) it seems to be nearly ready to be tidied up and edited/corrected before publication a link to the pictures is after the first part ..................................... ThePhillumenyTimes.com History of the Match .................... In the beginning Our journey to discover who and when the first match was created has led us on an epic journey through history, revealing, probably, the first humanlike civilisation to exist on earth. Traditional African religion is the oldest religion in the world. Well, this is obvious since Africans are the oldest human beings on earth. African traditional religions led to the system of alchemy founded some fifteen thousand years ago by the first human genius whom Africans described as the "Thrice Greatest." The greatest of all philosophers, the greatest of all priests, the greatest of all kings. His African names included, Thoth, Tehuti and Theuth. The west later knew him as Hermes Trismegistus with the same godlike attributes. He was the world's first "Adept" or "Master" he created the science of alchemy for the spiritual development of humankind. After the traditional African Hut, he inspired the building of the first Pyramids in Egypt, and the pyramid of Gizeh served as his shrine and academy. Wise men journeyed from all over the world to study at his feet. He was considered a personification of wisdom with inexhaustible supply of knowledge, some of which were recorded in about 20,000 books. These were among the 400,000 invaluable African documents destroyed 13,000 years later under the Roman edict of Theodosius in the 4th cent. AD to force European hegemony on the world. Thoth was immortalised in African myth as the great Anu called Onian in Chapter XV of the Book of the Dead and in the texts of the Pyramids. Thoth and his people, or even an earlier forgotten race, were the creators of the first fire stick or match using sulfur from the volcano's in the west of the oecumene, now known as NE Africa and Yemen after the red sea divide. Thoth also pioneered what is now known as science, Astrology, and Language, and we reveal the first form of communication methods used by these people or perhaps even by an earlier civilisation, with our set of 'Phillumeny Times' collector edition matchbox newspapers, presenting pre Thoth-stickwriting. [Pictures here - pre-THOTH-stickwriting] http://www.topdeckpublications.co.uk/firstwords.jpg The philosophical links and meanings that these pictures conjur up are endless, and some beleive that the images are divine having created themselves at the beginning of existence within and containing Tusos. A reflection of the divine law of ecclesiastical brain, building blocks and mechanics of the universe, housing and the word and seals of GOD, the conquering lion of Judah and the covenant between god and man. Modern history of the term match match: 1350–1400; Middle English macche (wick) < Middle French meiche, Old French mesche < Vulgar Latin *mesca (lamp wick), metathetic variant of Latin myxa < Greek mýxa, µ??a, (mucus, nostril, nozzle of a lamp) Historically, the term match referred to lengths of cord, or later cambric, impregnated with chemicals, and allowed to burn continuously. These were used to light fires and set off guns and cannons. Such matches were characterised by their burning speed, e.g. quick match and slow match; depending on their formulation, they could provide burning rates of between, typically, 1 second and 15 seconds per centimetre. The modern equivalent of this sort of match is the simple fuse, still used in pyrotechnics to obtain a controlled time delay before ignition. The original meaning of the word still persists in some pyrotechnics terms, such as black match (a black powder–impregnated fuse) and Bengal match (a firework producing a relatively long-burning, coloured flame). But, when friction matches were developed, they became the main object meant by the term. Early modern matches A predecessor of the match, small sticks of pinewood impregnated with sulfur, were also said to be invented in China in AD 577 by Northern Qi court ladies desperately out of tinder and looking for a means to start fires for cooking and heating while military forces of Northern Zhou and Chen besieged their city from outside. During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (AD 907–960), a book called the Records of the Unworldly and the Strange written by Chinese author Tao Gu in about 950 stated: If there occurs an emergency at night it may take some time to make a light to light a lamp. But an ingenious man devised the system of impregnating little sticks of pinewood with sulphur and storing them ready for use. At the slightest touch of fire they burst into flame. One gets a little flame like an ear of corn. This marvellous thing was formerly called a "light-bringing slave", but afterwards when it became an article of commerce its name was changed to 'fire inch-stick'. Matches also appeared in Europe by about 1530, yet the first modern, self-igniting match was also invented in 1805 by K. Chancel, assistant to Professor Louis Jacques Thénard of Paris. The head of the match consisted of a mixture of potassium chlorate, sulfur, sugar, and rubber. They were ignited by dipping the tip of the match in a small asbestos bottle filled with sulfuric acid. This kind of match was quite expensive and its usage was dangerous, so Chancel's matches never gained much popularity. Friction matches What was later described as the first "friction match" was also invented by English chemist John Walker in 1827. Early work had been done by Robert Boyle in the 1680s with phosphorus and sulfur, but his efforts had not produced useful results. Walker discovered a mixture of antimony(III) sulfide or stibnite, potassium chlorate, gum, and starch could be ignited by striking against any rough surface. Walker called the matches congreves, but the process was patented by Samuel Jones and the matches were sold as lucifer matches. The early matches had a number of problems - the flame was unsteady and the initial reaction was disconcertingly violent; additionally, the odor produced by the burning match was unpleasant. It is described as a firework odor. Despite these problems, the new matches were responsible for a marked increase in the number of smokers. Lucifers reportedly could ignite explosively, sometimes throwing sparks at a considerable distance. In the Netherlands matches are still called lucifers. In 1830, Frenchman Charles Sauria added white phosphorus to remove the odor. These new matches had to be kept in an airtight box but were popular. Unfortunately, those involved in the manufacture of the new matches were afflicted with phossy jaw and other bone disorders, and there was enough white phosphorus in one pack to kill a person. There was a vociferous campaign to ban these matches once the dangers became known. Noiseless matches The noiseless match was also invented in 1836 by the Hungarian János Irinyi, who was a student of chemistry. An unsuccessful experiment by his professor, Meissner, gave Irinyi the idea to replace potassium chlorate with lead dioxide in the head of the phosphorus match. He liquefied phosphorus in warm water and shook it in a glass foil, until it became granulated. He mixed the phosphorus with lead and gum arabic, poured the paste-like mass into a jar, and dipped the pine sticks into the mixture and let them dry. When he tried them that evening, all of them lit evenly. Irinyi thus invented the noiseless match and sold the invention to István Rómer, a match manufacturer. Rómer, a rich Hungarian pharmacist living in Vienna, bought the invention and production rights from Irinyi, the poor student, for 60 forints. The production of matches was now fully underway. István Rómer became richer off Irinyi's invention, and Irinyi himself went on to publish articles and a textbook on chemistry and founded several match factories. Reformulation to remove white phosphorus The early matches, including the Noiseless match, were dangerous to both the users and the people making them. This was due to the use of white phosphorus. The search for a replacement for white phosphorus led to what was known as the safety match. However, this term is now confusing as it covers both the modern safety match and the modern strike anywhere match. These two different types of matches are discussed separately below. Both of these types of matches were more expensive to make than white phosphorus-based matches, and customers continued to buy white-phosphorus based matches. Laws prohibiting the use of white phosphorus in matches generally had to be passed before these safer types of matches came into widespread usage. Finland banned white-phosphorus based matches in 1872; Denmark in 1874; Sweden in 1879; Switzerland in 1881 and the Netherlands in 1901. An agreement, the Berne Convention, was reached at Berne, Switzerland, in 1906 to prohibit the use of white phosphorus in matches. This required each country to pass laws prohibiting the use of white phosphorus in matches. Great Britain passed a law in 1908 prohibiting its use in matches after 31 December 1910. The United States did not pass a law, but instead placed a punitive tax on white-phosphorus based matches in 1913. India and Japan banned them in 1919; and China in 1925. Safety matches Household safety matches, including one burnt match The safety match was also invented in 1844 by the Swede Gustaf Erik Pasch and was improved by John Edvard Lundström a decade later. Their safety is due to the separation of the combustible ingredients between a match head on the end of a paraffin-impregnated splint and a special striking surface; and the replacement of white phosphorus with red phosphorus. The striking surface is composed of typically 25% powdered glass, 50% red phosphorus, 5% neutralizer, 4% carbon black and 16% binder; and the match head is typically composed of 45-55% potassium chlorate, with a little sulfur and starch, a neutralizer (ZnO or CaCO3), 20-40% of siliceous filler, diatomite and glue. Some heads contain antimony(III) sulfide so they burn more vigorously. Safety matches ignite due to the extreme reactivity of phosphorus with the potassium chlorate in the match head. When the match is struck the phosphorus and chlorate mix in a small amount forming something similar to the explosive Armstrong's mixture which ignites due to the friction. The Lundström brothers - James and Gray - had obtained a sample of red phosphorus from Arthur Albright at The Great Exhibition, held at The Crystal Palace in 1851, and made safety matches with it. They misplaced the matches and did not try them until just before the Paris Exhibition of 1855. They were still usable. The Swedes long held a virtual world-wide monopoly on safety matches, with the industry mainly situated in Jönköping. In France, they sold the rights to their safety match patent to Coigent Père & Fils of Lyon, but Coigent contested the payment in the French courts, on the basis that the invention was known in Vienna before the Lundström brothers patented it.  The British match manufacturer Bryant and May visited Jönköping in 1858 to try to obtain a supply of safety matches but were unsuccessful. In 1862 they set up their own factory and bought the rights for the British safety match patent from the Lundström brothers. Safety matches are classed as dangerous goods, "U.N. 1944, Matches, safety", and they are not universally forbidden on aircraft; however, they must be declared as dangerous goods and individual airlines and/or countries may impose tighter restrictions. Strike anywhere matches Two French chemists, Savene and Cahen, also developed a safety match using phosphorus sesquisulfide. They proved that the substance was not poisonous, that it could be used in a "strike anywhere" match and that the match heads were not explosive. They patented a safety match composition in 1898 based on phosphorus sesquisulfide and potassium chlorate. Albright and Wilson developed a safe means of making commercial quantities of phosphorus sesquisulfide in the United Kingdom in 1899 and started selling it to match makers. In 1901 Albright and Wilson also started making phosphorus sesquisulfide at their Niagara Falls plant for the U.S. market, but American manufacturers continued to use white phosphorus based matches. The Niagara Falls plant stopped making it until 1910, when the United States Congress forbade the shipment of white phosphorus matches in interstate commerce.  At the same time the largest producer of matches in the USA granted free use, in the USA, of its phosphorus sesquisulfide safety match patents. In 1913 Albright and Wilson also started making red phosphorus at Niagara Falls. Strike-anywhere matches are classed as dangerous goods, "U.N. 1331, Matches, strike anywhere"; and their carriage is forbidden on both passenger aircraft and cargo-only aircraft. Special purpose matches Extra long matches for extra safetyStorm matches (also known as lifeboat matches or flare matches), a component of many a survival kit, have a strikeable tip like a normal match but much of the remainder of the stick is coated with a combustible compound which will keep burning even in a strong wind. They have a wax coating to make them waterproof. Bengal matches are small hand-held fireworks akin to sparklers. They are similar to storm matches in form but include compounds of strontium or barium in the compound on the stick to produce a red or green flame respectively. Matchbooks A box of safety matches, some of which are greatly prized by phillumenistsThe development of a specialised matchbook with both matches and a striking surface did not occur until the 1890s with the American Joshua Pusey, who later sold his patent to the Diamond Match Company. The Diamond Match Company was later bought by Bryant and May. The hobby of collecting match-related items, such as matchcovers and matchbox labels, is called phillumeny. Phillumeny The word 'Phillumeny' was introduced by the British collector Marjorie S. Evans in 1943 (at the time - the president of The British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society). A person who engages in phillumeny is a phillumenist. These two forms have been adopted by many other languages, e.g., philuméniste, fillumenista, Filumenist and ??????????. For some time (from the mid 1940s into the 1950s) parallel to Phillumeny there was in use the term Phillumenism, which is now out of use. Phillumeny worldwide A packet of Polish matches from the Sianów matches factory Matches from MoroccoCollecting of matchbox labels emerged together with matches. In some collections it is possible to find labels from chemical matches, produced in 1810—1815 - long before the modern matches arrived. Quite often people who went abroad brought back matchboxes as souvenirs from other country. After the WWII lot of match factories worked in close contact with local phillumenists, issuing special non-advertising sets. Especially widespread the hobby became in 1960s - the 1980s. Wide introduction of bulky (for collectors) cardboard matchboxes with less different images on them and much poorer quality of print and, also, some social phenomena, made this hobby (well, like most others, not connected with commerce) much less engaged. Use of the Internet, allowing enthusiasts scattered around the world to cooperate, seems to have raised the level of interest again. For example, if in 1998 there were only 7 sites, more or less dedicated to phillumeny, in 2007 there are nearly 100 of them and the number is still growing. Famous phillumenistsIn Japan, Teichi Yoshizawa was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's top phillumenist. In Portugal, Jose Manuel Pereira published a series of albums to catalog and display matchbox collections called "Phillalbum". Fires due to lit matches The Cocoanut Grove fire of 1942, the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history, was started when an artificial palm tree caught fire when a busboy struck a match for illumination while changing a light bulb. The King's Cross fire was a devastating underground fire in London on 18 November 1987 which killed 31 people. It was caused by rubbish and grease beneath wooden escalators being ignited, probably by a discarded match. A 10-year-old boy started the Buckweed Fire, of the October 2007 California wildfires, by playing with matches. With a series of wildfires blazing across the southern part of the state, Buckweed destroyed over 38,000 acres of land and 63 structures.  Credits Thanks to Mr Dawson and my ex wife Louise who inpired me into this journey, and to the World Pan African leader Naiwu Osahon. Thanks also to Wikepedia which provided the modern information and texts.